Water efficiency case study: University Partnerships Programme

December 2014

“The Rippleffect site survey was really useful as it identified a number of areas in which UPP could save water and money. Simple changes like reducing the WC flush volumes have already made an impact and now we are monitoring shower flow rates to assess whether we need to make changes”
James Sandie, Environmental and Sustainability Manager

University Partnerships Programme (UPP) designs and develops high-quality, affordable student accommodation and academic infrastructure and provides support services. 

UPP joined the Rippleffect to help improve water efficiency at Nottingham Trent University’s Blenheim Hall student accommodation. Blenheim Hall comprises five blocks and can accommodate 177 students and is fully occupied for up to 44 weeks a year. Each of the blocks has a water meter and water usage is monitored regularly. 

A Rippleffect adviser surveyed Blenheim Hall and identified an average water use of 164 litres per person per day (lppd), which is above the national average for domestic consumption (150 lppd). Comparing the metered input of water with expected consumption identified that approximately 16% of water use was unaccounted for. Water use is being monitored more closely to investigate the difference.

Shower flow rates were measured during the time of the survey, but this was not in term-time so occupancy was low. UPP has continued to monitor the showers and identified the flow rates to be significantly lower during term time, a result of higher demand across the water distribution system. It is important to understand changes in water use and how these vary throughout different periods to make suitable technical changes. 

Since the Rippleffect survey, UPP has reduced WC flush volumes, ensured regular maintenance of leaking taps and cross checked meter readings with water bill figures. By implementing these measures, water savings of nearly 500m3 have been achieved with further work yet to be completed. 

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